Kevin wanted to be an artist, but he had some limitations. He couldn’t draw, paint, write, sculpt, play an instrument, or even mess around with Photoshop. He didn’t even know much about art. No one could give him any advice.
He decided to work within his limits. He himself would be the art creation. He would haunt the local art museum, walking around and giving critiques of all the works of art presented there to anyone who cared to listen — and even to those who didn’t. He would be the Art Moron.
He started in front of multimedia project — a collection of stacked TV sets all showing a sunrise over some tropical horizon. A recorded radio station was on, talking about nothing in particular.
“What the fuck?” Kevin asked rhetorically to all within earshot. “What the hell is this supposed to say? I don’t get it. It’s crap. The images are crap. The radio yack is crap. Even the television sets are cheap crap. It has no meaning whatsoever. It’s bullshit! I wonder how much this guy got paid for it?”
“What do you think of it?” he asked another young man in the room.
“I don’t know,” the man admitted.
“That’s because it doesn’t make any sense,” declared Kevin. “It’s crap!”
“What’s the meaning of art when it’s crap?” he asked a woman standing nearby.
“Oh, it’s saying something,” she said, defending it. “The curators didn’t set it up for nothing.”
“Yes, they did,” replied Kevin. “They decided to arrange for a pile of crap to sit on the floor, right here. They knew exactly what they were doing. The question is, What do you think of crap?”
She laughed. “It is crap, isn’t it?”
He now stood in front of a Jackson Pollock splatter spectacular.
“I like it,” he admitted out loud, “but I don’t get it. Looks like a bunch of fucked-up neurons inside a brain. Otherwise, it doesn’t look like anything.”
“Why should it have to look like anything?” a fellow viewer asked him.
“That’s a good question,” he admitted. “Maybe art doesn’t have to look like anything.”
“Right,” said the fellow viewer. “And you don’t have to have an opinion on it, either.”
Kevin looked at him.
“I’m the Art Moron,” Kevin explained. “I have an opinion on everything. That’s what makes me an artist.”
“No it doesn’t,” said the fellow viewer. He was a short man who looked like he needed a cigar in his mouth and a fedora on his head.
“You must be an artist, too,” suggested Kevin.
“No, I’m not,” said cigar mouth.
“And you’re a modest man,” continued Kevin. “But I’m not.” He looked at the Pollock canvas for another minute and then moved on.
He landed in front of a Rothko. A yellow rectangle on an orange background.
“Ouch!” exclaimed Kevin. “That’s hot!”
“It’s meant to be meditative,” someone explained.
“I get it,” agreed Kevin. “It’s the sun. Only it’s square.”
He stood in front of a Cubist Picasso. It looked like there was a face in it, somewhere, and some other body parts.
“Ugly,” declared Kevin. “Looks like a migraine headache!”
“No, it’s beautiful!” someone objected.
“You never had a migraine,” Kevin said. “It makes you want to throw up. Maybe there’s artistic merit in vomit — I don’t know — some people appreciate that sort of thing.”
Now he looked at a Claes Oldenburg soft plastic bathtub that was crumpled in a bit.
“It’s useless,” Kevin pointed out. “The faucets don’t work, and the water will just spill right out. What’s the point? It’s made of the kind of plastic that quickly gets sticky from sweat if you sit in it naked. I wouldn’t buy it.”
“Would you buy it?” Kevin asked the young couple standing next to him.
“If we could afford it, we would,” said one of them. “It’s wonderful!”
“No it’s not,” Kevin countered. “I’d rather have an old beanbag chair. At least you could sit in it.”
“That’s not the point of it,” said the other member of the couple. “It’s just to look at.”
“Yeah, well, it takes up too much space,” observed Kevin. “That’s why pictures are better.”
The couple looked at him, smiled, and moved on.
Finally, the security guards came to get him.
“But I’m an artist!” Kevin protested, as each one grabbed one of his arms.
“At home, maybe,” said one of the guards. “Here, you’re a pain in the ass.”
“I’m a new kind of artist,” Kevin tried to explain, as they led him out of the room. “I’m the Art Moron!”
“We can’t have you hassling people,” reasoned one of the guards, as they led Kevin down a hall.
“We artists are always misunderstood,” declared Kevin. “My art is to help people see art in a new way!”
“Yeah,” replied the other guard. “And our art is to help you explain it outdoors somewhere.”
“Oh,” said Kevin.
They opened an exit door and shoved Kevin out.
Brother Greg is an ex-minister with a bad attitude toward his former faith who loves writing very short stories, songs, and poetry.